Should my apartment complex pay for my medical bill regarding an injury that I suffered on the property?

I was coming down the stairs of my apartment complex and had my hand on the banister all the way down. The meat of my hand between my thumb and index finger caught a protruding nail and ripped my skin very deep. I just got back from the hospital. I needed 5 stitches. Should they pay for my medical? If so, how would I approach this to them? I’m no jerk, nor do I want to be. I just want what is fair.

Asked on September 10, 2011 under Real Estate Law, Virginia


FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 9 years ago | Contributor

Whether or not the owner of your apartment complex is negligent concerning the protruding nail that was in the banister that you caught your hand in resulting in the need for stitches depends upon whether or not the owner knew or should have known about the protruding nail upon a reasonable and diligent inspection.

In all states, in order to establish liability upon a property owner for damages that one sustains for personal injury concerning a condition that was existing causing injury, the plaintiff (person injured) has to establish knowledge of the problem by the property owner or failure to find it in the exercise of normal care.

From what you have written, I see no liability by the property owner for your injury. You could contact the owner and advise him or her what happened and of the need to remove the nail that harmed you. Perhaps the landlord will offer to pay for some of your medical bills.

Good luck.

S.L,. Member, California Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 9 years ago | Contributor

The owner of the property is liable for your injury which occurred on the property.  Your personal injury claim should be filed with the insurance carrier for the apartment complex.  You should obtain your medical bill, medical report, and if applicable, documentation of any wage loss resulting from the injury.  Your personal injury claim will consist of these items.  Compensation for the medical bill is straight reimbursement.  Compensation for wage loss is straight reimbursement.  The medical report will document the nature and extent of your injury and will be used to determine compensation for pain and suffering.  Compensation for pain and suffering is an amount in addition to the medical bill.  If you are dissatisfied with settlement offers from the insurance company, you can reject the settlement offers and file a lawsuit for negligence against the owner of the property.  If the case is settled with the insurance company, NO lawsuit is filed.  If the case is NOT settled, you will need to file your lawsuit prior to the expiration of the applicable statute of limitations or you will lose your rights forever in the matter.

IMPORTANT NOTICE: The Answer(s) provided above are for general information only. The attorney providing the answer was not serving as the attorney for the person submitting the question or in any attorney-client relationship with such person. Laws may vary from state to state, and sometimes change. Tiny variations in the facts, or a fact not set forth in a question, often can change a legal outcome or an attorney's conclusion. Although has verified the attorney was admitted to practice law in at least one jurisdiction, he or she may not be authorized to practice law in the jurisdiction referred to in the question, nor is he or she necessarily experienced in the area of the law involved. Unlike the information in the Answer(s) above, upon which you should NOT rely, for personal advice you can rely upon we suggest you retain an attorney to represent you.